Earth Soil Mineral & Metamorphic Sedimentary – Geology

This lesson is about Earth Soil, Mineral, Metamorphic, Sedimentary Geology.


Earth’s landscapes were shaped primarily by catastrophes


The physical, chemical, and biologic laws that operate today have operated throughout the geologic past

Sea Floor Spreading

New oceanic crust is created along Mid-Oceanic Ridges and moves away from the ridge


Gases that envelop the Earth


Water on or near the Earth’s surface


Frozen regions of Earth (ice, snow)


All living or once-living materials


Solid rocky Earth

Igneous rocks

Cooling and solidification of magma (molten rock)

Sedimentary rocks

• Sediments are derived from weathering of
preexisting rocks
• Sediments will lithify into sedimentary rocks
• Accumulate in layers at Earth’s surface

Metamorphic rocks

• Formed by “changing” preexisting igneous, sedimentary, or other metamorphic rocks
• Driving forces are heat and pressure

Rock Cycle

Allows us to visualize the
interrelationships among different parts of the Earth system


Are expansive, flat regions of deformed
crystalline rocks in the cratons


Are the stable interior of the continents

Stable platforms

Are the flat portions of cratons covered with a thin veneer of sedimentary rocks

Continental margins

are the portion of the seafloor
adjacent to major landmasses

continental shelf

is a gently sloping region of
continental crust extending from the shore

continental slope

is a relatively steep dropoff
that extends from the continental shelf to the deep
ocean floor

continental rise

consists of a thick wedge of
sediment that moved downward from the continental shelf and slope to accumulate on the seafloor

Deep ocean basins

are the portions of the seafloor between the continental margins and the oceanic ridges

abyssal plain

is a flat feature of the deep ocean basin

Deep-ocean trenches

are deep and relatively narrow depressions that make up only a small portion of the ocean floor


are small volcanic structures that dot the ocean floor

Oceanic ridges

are the most prominent feature on the ocean floor and are composed of igneous rock that has been fractured and uplifted

absolute motion

motion relative to an external reference frame

relative motion

absolute motions of plates leads to their motion relative to each other

What is the category name for the largest division of time used on the geologic time scale?


Why is the geologic time scale more detailed in the Phanerozoic than in previous eons?

The Phanerozoic Eon is more detailed because of the presence of organisms with hard parts and the rapid increase in biodiversity.

The Jurassic Period lies in the _____ Era, which was dominated by large terrestrial vertebrates, or _____.

Mesozoic; dinosaurs

Using a calendar year as an analogy to the geologic time scale, when do the oldest anatomically modern humans appear on Earth?

The oldest human fossils show up at about eleven minutes to midnight on December 31st.

Name the epoch, period, era and eon in which we currently live.

We live in the Holocene Epoch of the Quaternary Period, which is part of the Cenzoic Era and Phanerozoic Eon.

The layers of Earth are based on what two sets of characteristics?

Chemical composition and physical properties

What is the D” layer?

A partially molten layer above the outer core at the base of the mantle.

The upper mantle can be divided into the asthenosphere and lithosphere based on what physical properties?

The asthenosphere is solid, but mobile, while the lithosphere is solid and relatively rigid.

What are the two types of crust?

Oceanic and continental

What happens to the atmosphere as you move away from Earth’s surface?

The atmosphere thins.

What is the difference between magma and lava?

Magma is molten rock located below the surface; lava is molten rock erupted above ground.

What are the two most important driving forces of metamorphism?

High heat and pressure

_____ igneous rocks are those that cool below the surface.


What are the two important processes involved in lithification of sedimentary rocks?

Cementation and compaction

An igneous rock becomes buried, is subject to high heat and pressure, and recrystallizes. This rock then is eroded, transported, deposited and subsequently lithified. Which rock types—in order—did the original igneous rock develop into?

Metamorphic and sedimentary

Which statement accurately describes continental shields?

Very old, stable regions composed of igneous and metamorphic rocks

What evidence supports that the glaciers on the southern continents were once part of a single, massive ice sheet?


The lithosphere is composed of material from the ________ and the rigid part of the ________.

Crust; Upper Mantle

Which type of convergence will result in a volcanic island arc?


Deep-ocean trenches are formed by _______.

Deep-ocean trenches are formed by _______.

Which of the following is not part of the definition of a mineral?

Naturally occurring
Definite chemical composition
Orderly crystalline structure

Match the type of atomic bond with the correct definition.
Ionic Bond

Complete transfer of electrons between atoms

subduction In Convergent

ne plate descends below another; oceanic crust is “consumed” Plates to one another
– recycled back into the mantle


This property describes the appearance of reflected light from the mineral’s surface.